Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Collum miners to continue getting salaries - Mukanga
By Kabanda Chulu
Mon 06 May 2013, 14:00 CAT

WORKERS at repossessed Collum Coal mines in Sinazongwe district will continue getting paid despite the mine not having any production activities, says mines minister Yamfwa Mukanga.

Dismissing assertions that the government had neglected the miners after ZCCM Investment Holdings took over the mine following the cancellation of licences that were given to Chinese investors, Mukanga said no miner had been declared redundant.

"People should not become jittery, they will not lose jobs and they are still getting paid despite not having any production activities since this government is committed to safeguarding the welfare of Zambians," Mukanga said.

"ZCCM-IH is still evaluating the assets of the repossessed Collum Coal Mines in order to ascertain the true value of the mine's equipment and machinery, among other things, and I expect them to conclude the evaluation this week."

He said after the cancellation of licences, ZCCM-IH was tasked to take over until a suitable investor is found.

"We want to find out the true value because the Chinese-led Collum Coal management wants to be paid for the repossessed assets but we want to know since they owe us in statutory obligations and if the true value is below what they owe us, then we shall ask them to pay the difference," said Mukanga.

In February, the government revoked licences for the mine over poor safety and environmental compliance, as well as failure to pay mineral royalties.

The mine had a history of poor safety, health and environmental compliance, mainly due to the employment of non-qualified personnel.

The mine did not have emergency medical treatment facilities such as ambulances or a first-aid station underground and also failed to declare its mineral production as required for all mining companies under Zambian law.

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